Photos and Words by Cathy Xinchen Shi
Asian cuisine is way different from American cuisine, though both can be absolutely delicious! Asian cuisine uses small cuts instead of whole meat, and cook using woks, pots, and steamers. We also aim to integrate flavors of different ingredients into one dish instead of simply putting them on one plate.
Here are some places near BU where you can explore fantastic Asian cuisines with friendly prices.
Located on Massachusetts Ave, this Korean restaurant is popular in the area. You may need to wait for a table if you come at peak hours. The menu is really simple with most typical Korean dishes, Teokbokki, Soondubu, Bulgogi, and Fried Chicken.
Teokbokki $12.95: stir-fried rice cake with fish cakes, dumplings, silk noodles, a hard boiled egg, onions and scallion in Korean spicy sauce, topped with mozzarella cheese.
The portion surprised us as Teokbokki usually acts as a side dish, served in a small portion. But it’s yummy and the ingredients are authentic Korean! The rice cakes are chewy and fully covered with the sauce, the fish cake is punky and umami, and the dumplings were pan fried before stir fried with the sauce, which made them crispy inside. The mozzarella is not a must for this dish, but it’s becoming a popular ingredient in New Korean cuisine.
Seafood Soondubu $10.95: tofu soup with clam, shrimp, and calamari in a stone bowl. Served with steamed white rice.
The tofu was whole and really soft, you feel it melt in your mouth when you put it in. Great amount of seafood and it’s a truly delicious to pour some soup into the rice. This dish will keep you warm on cold days!
A wester-than-west place for some fried chicken, a late night treat, and relaxing with friends!
Bon Chon Chicken: combo, medium: 10 wings and 5 drums, half n half $19.95; Korean style fried chicken with soy garlic or hot sauce.
Korean style fried chicken is a must-order here! You can find it on every table! Whether it’s small, medium, large, or x-large depends on you! Chicken was fried first then glazed with soy garlic sauce or hot sauce. It was cooked perfectly, crispy on the outside, but juicy inside! The hot sauce was not too spicy though they put 3 chili signs on the menu. I highly recommend the hot sauce if you can handle some spice! It’s Korean style hot sauce, sweet and spicy, is more sweet than spicy. The complementary side dishes, cabbage salad and preserved radish tasted good as well.
Japanese Hot Pot: you can eat hot pot in any season, but it’s particularly good in winter!
This restaurant has two branches, one in Allton and another in Chinatown. It claims to be a Japanese restaurant, with Japanese style decorations, utensils, and soy sauce. But you can easily find Chinese flavor if you want! Put everything inside and wait for the water to boil. The steam rises and brings with it the delicious smell of food! Use a colander to get your favorite food out and enjoy!
Baby Octopus (Appetizer)
Tips: Don’t boil meat or seafood for too long, or they will loss the tenderness. Some vegetables, like corn and cabbage, need longer time to cook.
Chef Chang’s in Back Bay
A Chinese restaurant owned and operated by Chinese, where you can find Chinese cuisine from south to north!
Pork and Chinese cabbage dumplings (12 pieces) $8.50
Dumplings are traditional Chinese dishes that people always eat on special holidays including Lunar New Year. Water boiled, steamed, or pan fried, they can be delicious regardless of the cooking method! We could smell them right when they got to our table, and they tasted right when I tried them. The dumpling skin was thin and soft, and covered the well-blended, juicy stuffing made of pork and Chinese cabbage. The sauce is a blend of soy sauce and vinegar. Water boil is the most typical to cook dumplings in south China.
Scallop Fried Rice $12
Dried scallop, fried egg, green beans, carrot and scallion, all cube-cut ingredients perfectly integrated with rice to make this typical northern fried rice dish. It was not so oily though it’s fried. The dish was light, but full of flavor, perfect to share with a friend or two.